Biography

Birth date: 12 July 1878
Birth place: Australia: South Australia, Prospect
Death date: 25 June 1962
Death place: Australia: South Australia, Adelaide
Final rank: Brigadier General
Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
Second World War, 1939-1945
Units:
  • 11 Battalion
  • 48 Battalion
  • 84th Infantry
  • 4th Australian Division
  • 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 48th Australian Infantry Battalion

Raymond Leane was a member of one of Australia's most well-known military families and served with distinction in the First World War. He was born on 12 July 1878 at Prospect, South Australia. After school, Leane's job took him to Western Australia, where he was commissioned in the 11th (Perth Rifles) Infantry Regiment in 1905. Three years previously, while employed as a commercial traveller, he had married Edith Laybourne.

In 1908 he began a successful career as a merchant in Kalgoorlie; he also returned to soldiering with the Goldfields Infantry Regiment, in which he was promoted to captain in 1910. Leane enlisted in the AIF within weeks of the First World War's beginning. He was joined by every male of enlistment age in his extended family and became known as the head of what Charles Bean described as "the most famous family of soldiers in Australian history." Leane was given command of a company in the 11th Battalion and was among the first ashore at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. In May he distinguished himself in a raid against Turkish positions on Gaba Tepe. The raid was unsuccessful but Leane managed to withdraw and rescue the wounded under heavy fire, winning the Military Cross.

He was wounded twice, the second time on 31 July while leading an attack against a Turkish position, soon to be known as "Leane's Trench", which he held against strong counter-attacks. He was promoted to temporary major in August and to temporary lieutenant colonel in October. Leane had been given command of his battalion on 11 September and remained on the peninsula until mid-November.

Leane's rank of major was confirmed in February 1916; he was given command of the 48th Battalion and promoted to lieutenant colonel the following month. Serving under him in the battalion were his brother, three nephews, and other relatives, and the 48th became known as the "Joan of Arc Battalion (Made of all-Leanes)". By the end of 1917, Leane's unit had fought at Mouquet Farm, Guedecourt, Bullecourt, Messines, and Passchendaele, where Leane was badly wounded. Returning to duty in January 1918, he commanded the 48th throughout the rest of the war; he reached the temporary rank of brigadier in June. A well-respected commander, brave in combat and concerned for his men, Leane received the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the French Croix de Guerre, and civilian honours.

After the war, Leane served as South Australia's police commissioner from 1920-44 and received a knighthood on retirement. At the same time he remained in the militia, serving as a lieutenant colonel from 1921-26, finally retiring in 1938 after 12 years on the unattached list. During the Second World War he served in the Volunteer Defence Corps.

Leane lived out his retirement in Adelaide, dying there on 25 June 1962.

Rolls and Awards

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 4th Australian Division
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Brevet Lieutenant Colonel

  • Unit: 84th Infantry
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 4th Australian Division
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mentions

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mentions

  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Order of the Bath

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Order of St Michael and St George

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Order of St Michael and St George

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Bar to Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Bar to Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Bar to Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Order of St Michael and St George

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Military Cross

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : French Croix de Guerre

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Military Cross

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Order of St Michael and St George

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Bar to Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Order of the Bath

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : French Croix de Guerre

  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Art

Brigadier General Raymond Leane

A portrait of Brigadier General Raymond Lionel Leane (1878- 1962) CB, CMG, DSO and Bar, MC, MID. General Raymond Lionel Leane was the Commanding Officer of the 12th Infantry Brigade in Gallipoli, France and Belgium. Born in Prospect, South Australia, Leane worked for a wholesale and retail business...

ART00100

Photograph

P02136.001

Studio portrait of five of the six Leane brothers, sons of Thomas and Alice Leane of Prospect, SA. Left to right: standing: Major Benjamin Bennett Leane (1889-1917), 48th Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Lionel Leane MC (1878-1962), 11th Battalion and 373 Warrant Officer 1 Ernest Albert Leane...

P02136.001

P10687.023.002

Informal portrait of the wedding party of Lieutenant Commander James Henry Thom and Sister Myra Lillian Smith, 3rd Australian General Hospital (3AGH). Identified from left to right are: Sister Riley; Brigadier General Raymond Lionel Leane CB CMG DSO MC VD; Sister Mrya Lillian Smith; Lieutenant...

P10687.023.002

P10687.098.001

Group portrait of 48th Battalion officers. Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Lionel Leanne, CMG DSO MC, in centre of photograph; Lieutenant Harry Downes, MM, seated on his right. One of a series of images in an album relating to the wartime service of Lieutenant Harry Downes MC MM, 48th Battalion.

P10687.098.001

E01767

Group portrait of officers of the 48th Battalion. From left to right, back row: Lieutenant (Lt) Geoffrey Paul Leane MC; Lt Robert Scott Rafferty MM; Lt Reginald Charles Bleechmore; Second Lieutenant (2nd Lt) Charles William Stoerkel MC and Bar; Lt George Dean Mitchell MC DCM; Lt Joseph Arthur...

E01767

E02401

Portrait of Lieutenant Colonel R. L. Leane DSO MC, Commanding Officer, 48th Battalion, standing in the doorway.

E02401

P10689.037.008

Informal portrait of Brigadier General R L Leane and Captain A L Varley, reclining on a grassy knoll among the ruined buildings of Bellenglise. The officers have cigarettes in their hands and are surrounded by the remains of their lunch. One of a series of photos recording the journey made to...

P10689.037.008

100405

Sketches of senior Officers of the Australian Volunteer Defence Corps, drawn by C. F. Beauvais. Left to right: Back row: Brigadier General J. Heane CB CMG DSO VD; Colonel G. F. Murphy CMG DSO; Brigadier E. H. W. Meyers MC; Brigadier General A. J. Bessell-Brown CB CMG DSO VD; Major General J. D....

100405

Technology

M1866 Chassepot Bayonet and scabbard : Brigadier General R L Leane

M1866 Chassepot bayonet and brass hilt with a leaf spring secured by a rivet. Stamped on the left side of the cross guard are the numbers '31231', and on the quillon the letter 'B' with another undistinguishable stamp. The riccaso on the right hand side has a 'B' and either an '8' or 'G' with a...

REL36708

No 3 Periscope Mark 1 : Captain R L Leane, C Company, 11 Battalion, AIF

Battle damaged metal trench periscope. A Turkish bullet penetrated the top aperture damaging the glass insert. The exterior of the trench periscope has several dings from use in the trenches. The remnants of a rectangular shaped piece paper are stuck on the upper rear of the periscope. On the...

RELAWM10204

Turkish Mauser Model 1893 Rifle : Turkish Army

German Mauser Model 1893 rifle. The receiver on the left side has a Turkish Arabic inscription that translates to Mauser Arms Works Oberndorf and has a date in Turkish Arabic of 1312 (1893). The bolt has a mismatched number to the rifle. It is complete with a cleaning rod. Faint scratched or...

RELAWM00308.001

Turkish Mauser Model 1893 Rifle : Captain R L Leane, 11th Battalion, AIF

German Mauser Model 1893 rifle. The receiver on the left side has a Turkish Arabic inscription that translates to Mauser Arms Works Oberndorf and has a date in Turkish Arabic of 1312 (1893). The bolt has a mismatched number to the rifle. It is complete with a cleaning rod. Faint scratched or...

RELAWM00308

Private Record

Leane, Benjamin Bennett (Major, b.1890 - d.1917)

Collection relating to the service of Major Benjamin Bennett Leane, 48 Battalion, AIF, Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front, 1914-1917. Collection consists of one letter [typescript carbon copy] and photostat copies of personal diaries, bound into two volumes by AWM. Diaries are written in the form of... Maker: Leane, Benjamin Bennett

1DRL/0412 (With records)

Leane, Allan Edwin (Captain)

Collection relating to the service of Captain Allan Edwin Leane, 48 Battalion, AIF, Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front, 1915-1917. Collection consists chiefly of 24 letters written by Captain Leane to either his mother, his father, or his sister. Maker: Leane, Allan Edwin

1DRL/0411

Heraldry

Other Ranks service dress tunic : Lieutenant Colonel R L Leane, 48 Battalion, AIF

Khaki wool twill tunic with a stand and fall collar. An oxidised brass Rising Sun (general service) badge is secured to the proper right front collar edge with a split brass pin. The left collar badge is missing. The khaki wool shoulder straps are secured to the tunic with a small brown pressed...

RELAWM01111

Digitised Collection

Photostat copy of diaries of Benjamin Bennett Leane, 1915

Photostat copy of diaries relating to the First World War service of Major Benjamin Bennett Leane, 10th Infantry Battalion. This bound volume consists of three sequential diaries kept between 2 March 1915 and 25 December 1915 and written in the form of letters to his wife. The diaries detail...

RCDIG0001006

Photostat copy of diaries of Benjamin Bennett Leane, 1915-1916

Photostat copy of diaries relating to the First World War service of Major Benjamin Bennett Leane, 48th Infantry Battalion. This bound volume consists of three sequential diaries written in the form of letters to his wife and kept between 26 December 1915 and 27 November 1916. The diaries detail...

RCDIG0001007

Personal Files Book 19, 7 July - 30 July 1918

File of papers relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant General Sir John Monash, Australian Corps. This file, originally part of Book 19, covers 7 July 1918 and 30 July 1918, contain documents relating to the Battle of Amiens, commencing on 8 August 1918. The file also holds a report...

RCDIG0000634

Timeline

Date of birth 1878-07-12 Prospect, SA.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 1905 Commissioned as a lieutenant in the 11th (Perth Rifles) Infantry.
Other units 1908 Transferred to the Goldfields Infantry Regiment in Kalgoolie.
Date promoted 1910-11-21 Appointed captain.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 1914-08-25 Joined the AIF.
Other 1914-08-25 Posted as a Company Commander in the 11th Infantry Battalion with the rank of captain.
Other units 1915-01-01 Officer commanding C Company.
Date promoted 1915-02-26 Promoted to substantive rank of major and appointed commander of the newly formed the 48th Infantry Battalion.
Other 1915-04-25 One of the first men ashore at Anzac Cove.
Date wounded 1915-06-28 Wounded in the attack on Bolton's Ridge.
Date wounded 1915-07-31 Wounded in the head when an enemy shell struck him following the successful attack on and enemy position that became known as Leane's Trench.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915-08-04
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915-08-05
Date promoted 1915-08-05 Promoted to temporary major.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915-08-09
Other units 1915-09-11 Commanded the 11th Battaion.
Date promoted 1915-10-08 Promoted to major.
Date promoted 1915-10-08 - 1915-11-30 Promoted to temporary lieutenant colonel.
Date of honour or award 1916-01-14 Awarded the Military Cross for his leadership, courage and coolness under fire during his attempt to capture Gaba Tepe the previous year.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-01-17
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-01-28
Other units 1916-02-09 Officer commanding C Company.
Other units 1916-02-21 Temporary Commanding Officer of the 48th Battalion.
Date promoted 1916-02-26 Promoted to the substantive rank of major.
Date promoted 1916-03-12 Promoted to substantive lieutenant colonel.
Other units 1916-03-12 Appointed Commanding Officer of the 48th Battalion.
Date of honour or award 1916-06-03 Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-06-03
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-10-10
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-01-20
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-06-14
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-09-20
Date wounded 1917-10-12 Wounded at Passchendaele and evacuated.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-10-16
Date of honour or award 1917-12-17 Bar to the Distinguished Service Order.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918
Other 1918-01 Returned to duty and his battalion.
Date of honour or award 1918-01-01 Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG).
Date promoted 1918-04-19 Acting Brigade Commander with the temporary rank of colonel.
Other 1918-04-19 Temporary commanding officer of the 12th Brigade.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-05
Other units 1918-05-22 Returned as commanding officer of the 48th Battalion.
Date promoted 1918-06-01 Promoted to sustantive rank of colonel and temporary brigadier general.
Other 1918-06-01 Temporary Commanding Officer of the 12th Brigade.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-09-21
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-09-27
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-10-13
Other 1918-11-24 - 1919-03-25 General Officer Commanding the 12th Brigade Headquarters.
Date of honour or award 1919-01-07 French Croix de Guerre.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1919-01-30
Other 1919-04-08 - 1919-07-16 General Officer Commanding No. 4 Group Hurdcott.
Date of honour or award 1919-06-03 Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).
Date returned to Australia 1919-09-06
Other 1920-01-03 AIF appointment terminated.
Other 1920-05 Became Chief Commissioner of Police in South Australia.
Other 1921 - 1926 He was placed on the unattached list and commanded the 3rd Infantry Brigade in Adelaide.
Other 1938 Moved to the retired list of officers.
Other 1944 Retired from the police force.
Date of honour or award 1945-06-14 Appointed Knight Bachelor.
Date of death 1962-01-25 Adelaide, SA.
Date of death 1962-06-25